Swedish council houses, Bunwell, Norfolk

Swedish dormer bungalows, Bunwell, Norfolk
David Nicholls

We moved from our cottage on Bunwell Hill, South Norfolk into our Swedish council house at Bunwell Greenways in the very harsh winter of February1947 when I was 10. The cottage we left had no running water, outside toilet and electricity downstairs only. So to have a bathroom with flush toilet, kitchen range that provided hot water and an electric cooker was unbelievable luxury. Initially the were creosoted but with white painted window and door frames they looked attractive, although some, probably envious, called them “chicken huts”. I understand the Depwade Rural District Council were concerned about the fire risk so the eight semi-detached chalet bungalows were built with a brick pair of semi-detached houses in the middle. Ironically the only time I saw a fire engine in attendance was to a chimney fire in one of the brick houses.

Later each pair were painted in different pastel shades and uPVC windows installed.

When the Right to Buy was introduced it was not possible to obtain a mortgage because of their Non-Standard construction, I don’t know if that rule has been relaxed over the years because my parents are no longer with us.

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